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IBM Launches New Virtualization Engine for Tape With Grid Computing Capabilities


Advances Include Improved Disaster Recovery Functions

ARMONK, NY - 22 Sep 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the next generation of tape virtualization solutions, with the introduction of the IBM System Storage TS7700 Virtualization Engine, a mainframe virtual-tape offering designed to improve tape processing while also supporting business continuity through Grid connectivity and automated replication.

Building on almost 10 years of tape virtualization solutions, the TS7700 Virtualization Engine introduces a new modular, scalable, high-performance architecture designed to address the demands of today’s clients and to provide for future growth and expandability.

The new TS7700 is built on a new hardware and software architecture that incorporates global awareness functionality, enabling a Virtual Tape Grid computing environment. With the introduction of global awareness functionality, data can reside on TS7700s at different sites, and each TS7700 is able to track where the data is located and access it. This design improves disaster recovery capabilities; for example, the TS7700 can automatically duplicate data to another TS7700 at a second site over standard TCP/IP communications. IBM also announced plans to expand this capability to TS7700s located at three different sites in the future.

“IBM was the first company to introduce a tape virtualization solution in 1997,” said Cindy Grossman, vice president, tape storage systems. “IBM continues to lead the industry with the introduction of the most advanced tape virtualization solution available today. This solution allows our customers to manage their data from online application storage to offline, permanent archive media.”

As the successor to the highly successful IBM TotalStorage® Virtual Tape Server (VTS), the TS7700 Virtualization Engine is designed to provide improved performance and capacity to help lower the total cost of ownership for tape processing. The TS7700 integrates the advanced performance, capacity, and data integrity design of the IBM System Storage TS1120 Tape Drives, with high-performance disk and a new controller based on the advanced IBM System p™ server technology, to form a storage hierarchy managed by robust storage management firmware with extensive self-management capability. It includes functions such as advanced policy management to control physical volume pooling, cache management, dual copy, automatic copy across a grid network, and copy mode controls. The TS7700 offers a new standards-based management interface and enhanced statistical reporting.

The TS7700 Virtualization Engine contains a TS7740 Server, which provides host connection of up to four FICON™ channels, and connections to the tape library and tape drives for back-end tape processing. A TS7700 with Grid Communication features can be interconnected with another TS7700 to provide peer-to-peer copy capability between Virtualization Engines for tape using IP network connections.

The TS7740 Server cache provides over 6 TB of tape volume cache capacity before compression. Each TS7700 supports up to a maximum of 128 3490E virtual tape drives and up to 500,000 logical volumes, each with a maximum capacity of 1.2 GB (assuming 3:1 compression) to 12 GB (assuming 3:1 compression and using the 400 to 4000 MB volume sizes).

Today’s launch builds on IBM’s industry leadership in tape products and services. Last week, IBM introduced the industry’s first tape drive with drive-based encryption capabilities, the IBM System Storage TS1120, bringing powerful security capabilities to small, medium and large businesses alike. This history-making drive is designed to provide protection of data in the event that it is lost or stolen, rendering it unreadable to anyone who finds it.

This solution joins IBM’s growing portfolio of Grid storage solutions designed to address massive amounts of data and the need for businesses to have a means to effectively and reliably access that data across the grid.

Pricing and Availability

The TS7700 Virtualization Engine will be available on September 29, 2006 with a starting list price of $493,080.

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